The skeletal musculature of 11 talpid genera is described, and 58 myological characters are defined and used in a phylogenetic analysis of the Talpidae. This analysis included the outgroup taxa Atelerix (Erinaceidae) and Blarina (Soricidae), and it discovered a single most parsimonious tree. Inclusion of Uropsilus in a monophyletic Talpidae needs further evaluation, but there is very strong support for the monophyly of other talpids. Contrary to previous interpretations of talpid relationships, this phylogenetic analysis indicates (1) the fully fossorial moles Parascalops, Scalopus, Scapanus, and Talpa are monophyletic; (2) the Eurasian genus Talpa is sister taxon to the North American genera Scalopus and Scapanus; and (3) the long-tailed mole Scaptonyx is part of a clade with the shrew moles Neurotrichus and Urotrichus. Preliminary biogeographic analysis suggests that the Talpidae originated in the Old World, and that there were separate dispersals from Eurasia to North America by Condylura, Neurotrichus, Parascalops, and the common ancestor of Scalopus and Scapanus.
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